Stone Mountain

Stone Mountain as viewed from Cedar Rock Mountain in the autumn. Stone is DuPont’s highest peak at 3620 ft. Photo Courtesy of Jeff Jennings

At 3600′, Stone Mountain is the tallest in the DuPont State Recreational Forest. It lies on the extreme northeast corner of the forest, and offers 180 degree views in the summer and nearly 360 degree views in the winter.

Stone Mountain can be accessed from Old CCC road for a strenuous 1000′ climb, or from Sky Valley Road for a 500′ climb.

Directions to Stone Mountain:

Long Route

Stone Mtn. is the highest point in the DuPont State Recreational Forest, at 3620′. Much of the top of this knob is exposed granite, offering 180 degree views during the summer and nearly 360 degree views in the winter. Elevation gain on this hike is 1100′. See “Shorter Hike to Stone Mountain” for a quicker access to the top.

Follow the directions to the Guion Farm Access Area, BUT instead park near the intersection of Sky Valley Road and Old CCC Road (about a mile BEFORE you would get to Guion).

About 50 yards before the pavement ends on Old CCC Road, find a dirt road (“Rocky Ridge Trail”) on the uphill (east) side of the road. Take Rocky Ridge Trail up a steep grade for about 1.5 miles until it intersects with Stone Mountain Trail (formally West Stone Mountain Road) on the top of the ridge. Take a left turn at the marked intersection onto Stone Mountain Trail.

(***)Follow a level grade on Stone Mountain Trail for a few minutes until the junction with SwitchBack Trail on the right. Bear left, continuing on Stone Mountain Trail. Continue up a steep grade for over a mile until it leads to a large wildlife clearing. The top of this clearing offers views of the entire Pisgah range, including Cold Mountain and Toxaway Mountain.

Continue on the road through the clearing (which is hard to distinguish when the grain is mown down). Just as the trail bears to the left in the clearing, find a small footpath on the right leading to the upper right corner of the clearing and into the hardwood trees. The trail follows the gentle ridgeline through a pleasant hardwood forest for 1/2 mile, then climbs very steeply for the last 1/10 mile up to the summit.

The top of the mountain consists of several large inclined granite slabs (all facing south) spread out for a hundred yards or more. Most of these slabs offer southerly views of the rest of the State Forest and the continental divide ridgeline. Continue walking along the ridgeline towards the east (toward the prominent Pinnacle Mountain) until you find several more granite slabs, each with a slightly different view. The extreme northeast outcropping offers winter views of Kanuga Road, downtown Hendersonville, Laurel Park, Bearwallow Mountain, Mount Mitchell and more.

An impressive westerly view of the Pisgah range can be found by returning to the first, western-most granite opening. Just to the left of the trail leading back down the mountain is an uncleared route marked by flagged trees. The flags lead you down about 200′ to a large boulder with an unobstructed view west (including the Guion farmhouses).

Return along same route.

Shorter Route

This hike offers a quicker access to Stone Mountain from Sky Valley Road, but the steepest sections are not avoided (elevation gain is 600′). Follow directions to the Guion Farm Parking Area, but continue on Sky Valley road past the steep hairpin turn and past the cottage on the right. Continue past a crest in the road, then up and over another mild crest in the road. About 1.5 miles past Guion, look for the Rocky Ridge Trail sign on the left side of the Sky Valley Rd. (with a cable blocking it). Park on the shoulder of the road near this entrance.

Hike along Rocky Ridge Trail for 0.4 mile until it intersects with Stone Mountain Trail (formally W. Stone Mountain Road). Go straight (not left) on Stone Mountain Trail. See the Strenuous Hike to Stone Mountain for the remaining details (see ***)